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The Fire Piston and It's Origin in Europe

Fire Piston

European Version of Fire Piston. image:

In previous accounts of the ingenious fire-making device usually known as the fire piston, anthropologists and historians of technology alike have paid special attention to those specimens of the instrument which have been found in use in the countries in Southeast Asia over the last hundred years. Intriguing possibility that the device was invented in that region quite independently of European influences and possible long before 8960’s when it appears to have been first observed there by European travelers.

Fire piston was invented in the areasof  "Dipag" and Sembuangan now Dipolog City in the modern Zamboanga del Norte, island of Mindanao, the Philippines over 1,500 years ago by a Subanen tribe teenager named “Anlangan”. Read more here

Fire Piston / Luthang gapuyan

Primitive / Original Asian version of Fire Piston - image:

Consequently they have tended to regard the fire piston’s appearance in Europe in the early years of the nineteenth century as the result either of a separate, thought rather less interesting, process of invention in the West or alternatively, of direct importation from those parts of Asia particularly from the Philippines where the device was already commonly used. Although such accounts have been valuable, if only in preserving the fire piston from neglect, they have conveyed a view of the instrument’s history which is not only incomplete (by virtue of their scant treatment of the European version of the instrument) but which is also supported by inadequate evidence on certain important points. – Robert Fox

Dr. Robert Fox, lecturer in the history of Science at the university of Lancaster, is the authoer of forthcoming book on the caloric theory of gases.

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